Thursday 23 February 2012

Charlotte Bronte's Sampler - Just £7.50 on eBay!

Is this the find of the century? Stitched by Charlotte's own hands? What do you think? This creation of replica samplers is something of a moot point which crops up from time to time. Antique dealers really don't like it, because these works twenty or thirty years on - or maybe even more-  may, so the dealers say, confuse the market. I know many stitchers who, upon completion of a replica sampler dutifully work their own name and date of finishing below the border. I was always intrigued why a seasoned dealer couldn't tell the difference anyway, but then was reminded that many auction houses can't afford experts in every field to evaluate the items sent in for sale. Certainly when I have seen the odd sampler being photographed the wrong way up for sales catalogues, I can see their problem. Naomi Tarrant, in an all party discussion we had on this topic at Ackworth, was even more concerned about the historical record becoming confused, when people create and stitch new samplers and simply add the name of a girl who lived (and who may never have stitched a sampler herself.) What are your thoughts on this - do you have any - is it important to you? Click here to go to the eBay item. It turns out it is a print of a replica sampler on thick paper!


  1. This is a print on paper, not a stitched piece. At least the description of the item says "copy". Not really sure what I think about keeping the original name on a replica, but I guess it is intended when purchasing a replicated pattern. Maybe stitching something like "Charlotte Bronte's sampler, wroght by Hillery Towle. I suppose if I did stitch a replica, I would want some recognition for ti. I was the one who stitched it. Hmm something to think about. Thanks for posting.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts Hillery - and for pointing out that it is a print!

  3. I think that for the average person (myself) going to an antique store and wanting to purchase a sampler has to rely on the word and integrity of the dealer. Not all children or women signed and/or dated their work. My sister and I went to a shop last summer and the dealer called the woman whose collection she purchased the samplers from and she dated them so that was the only proof my sister had. She debated long and hard about buying the sampler, in the end she did.
    As far as stitching them myself, I have a book of historical samplers and I am not stitching the sampler exactly so that there would never be any dispute over it many years from now in case anyone cared enough to keep it for 30 years. I also mark them with a label on the backing paper with my name, date and location.

  4. I love stitching old historical samplers. I always mark them with a lable on the backing paper with name, date and location.

    In some cases I have stitched my name, age, etc. in place of the orginial stitchers. With a note on the back that it is a copy of "Charlotte Bronte's (for example).

    If I were to purchase a historical sampler.....I would need to rely on the intergrity of the seller.

    Thanks for the Post.......very interesting.

  5. Putting the name and date is a must IMO if you are stitching a repro. That way, unless a future seller actually rips out the signature, there is no mistaking it is a repro. Even then, there are ways to tell...twist of the thread, weave of the linen,etc. I have actually seen a fake sampler being sold at auction and told the bidder it was not an old sampler, but she didn`t believe me. *shrugs*

    I have a particular bone to pick with designers who design samplers in the style of a repro and put an older date and a made up name on them. In the future this will cause confusion to anyone researching the sampler thinking it is an antique with an existing name and date on it.Researching samplers is difficult enough without deliberatly leading someone down the garden path...

    Just my opinion, anyway...

  6. I'm afraid that I stitch for my pleasure and my pleasure only. I don't really care what happens to my work after I die. If I feel it suits the design I will put my details and date in, and usually do, but if I don't, I don't. I'm not stitching to mislead anyone - I'm stitching for my own pleasure. I doubt anyone stitches to mislead and make money. It simply takes too much time. Caveat emptor. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.